Happy new year 2015!

I’m really kind of new here and I’m amazed already at those of you who have taken the time to read my musings. I really appreciate it and get a great big smile when someone likes my stuff. It really makes my day! So thank you. Have a great new year.

Love Jem X

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Happy new year 2015!

oh potato salad!

This is my stepdad’s recipe. It is the most basic yet delicious potato salad, it doesn’t have anything fancy added although I turn my nose up when my stepdad tries to be creative and adds capscicum. It doesn’t need it!

Recipe:

8 potatoes peeled and washed.

1.5 cups of whole egg mayonaise

Half of a large red onion chopped finely

250g bacon, rind off chopped small

Half a cup of peas

5 eggs boiled, chopped rough

I used ruby potatoes, cut into bite sized cubes, boiled until soft/firm. Drain and pop into the fridge to cool, pop bacon into a pan and fry until crispy, and put to the side. Add mayonaise to the potato, with cooked peas, egg and add onion. Add the bacon and fold through. Serves 6-8

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oh potato salad!

mayo. the real deal

So I was making pavlova, and I thought maybe I could use up these egg yolks. I had one whole egg that was squished up and four yolks so I put them into my blender and added grapeseed oil, lemon juice and mustard. I blended this for about 10 mins to get the emulsification process going adding a dash of more oil each minute which made the mixture thick and creamy. The result:

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Oh wow. Amazing whole egg mayonnaise like the real deal, no preservatives, and weird additives.

Recipe:

1 whole egg
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoons of hot english mustard
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
1.5 cups of grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp salt

place eggs, mustard, salt, lemon juice into a food processor, and process on high. slowly add 50mL at a time grapeseed oil until thickened
store in a sterilised glass jar, the mayo will last about 2 weeks.

mayo. the real deal

to pav i love you

The Australian pavlova. Something my part kiwi husband and I debate it’s origins. I remember eating this delight since I was little from my nans Cottesloe home. I ended up using a Donna Hay recipe for the meringue, which only uses four ingredients. I can only imagine back when my grandmother made this recipe you used what ever you had in the cupboard. Fresh eggs from the chooks, passion fruit in season picked off the back fence over the laneway, nurses cornflour, white vinegar and fresh whipped cream, summer strawberries.

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Recipe

4 egg whites
1 cup of castor sugar
3 teaspoons of cornflour
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
Whipped cream, fresh fruit to serve

Preheat oven to 150°C. Place the eggwhites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. I did this on number 6 on my kitchenaid. Slowly add the sugar, beating well until the mixture is glossy and sugar dissolved. Sift the cornflour over, add the vinegar and fold through. pile into an 18cm-round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Place in the oven, reduce the heat to 120°C and cook for 1 hour. turn off the oven, open the door and allow the meringue to cool. don’t take it out just yet. to serve, top with whipped cream and fresh fruit. This makes a small pav, double the mixture for a large family 6-8.

Pavlova tips

Use large fresh eggs, organic/free range and at room temperature

Use an egg separator and a single cup to get egg whites. If yoke goes in then it’s throwaway (i use for whole egg mayonnaise) empty single egg whites into the cup your collecting them in. cannot stress enough the egg white cannot be contaminated.

This has to be a quick process so make sure all ingredients are out ready on the bench to use. You need to whip as much air as you can into your pav and pretty much straight away fold out out onto a tray into the oven. Don’t worry about it looking super pretty, just pile it high and get the back of your knife to make side channels around the pav.

If you want a pretty pav, use a springform pan.

Slowly pour the sugar in towards the end, once your pav is starting to go fluffy. It should not be grainy when you taste it.

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to pav i love you

the kitchenaid

So my darling husband bought me a Kitchenaid artisan mixer for christmas. I’m pretty happy with this, I think its amped up my cooking skill somewhat and to be honest I was sick of manually whipping, processing etc plus my bullet blender recently died. I have been looking at these mixers for oh i don’t know maybe since i was seventeen. And in baby pink of course. fast forward a decade and I’m impressed with the frosted glass bowl, the satin pearl colour and attachments.

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the kitchenaid

to you with love

#Hello! My name is Jem and I am a fourth generation west Australian cook. I think cooking is a few things, practice, intuition and spirit, the feeling of complete bliss when preparing food for the people. You have to have that. I noticed my stepdad (another amazing cook) comes home from work and cooks for my mother and he gets lost in the kitchen. Cooking for me is like therapy. A place to unwind and dazzle after the rollercoaster ride that is life. I think there are many of us out there with our speciality home recipes, that we cook to unwind and relax. have that tradition and familiarity around us. to recharge for another day.

So I was taught by my grandmother and now my girls are in the kitchen, I find that I am teaching them things that have been passed down to me. Being a teenager in the kitchen is just one of those things, a bunch of nerves, learning measurements, sometimes bored, playing games, mixing until your arms hurt, half finishing things, being inattentive, making mistakes. And then you grow up and it becomes second nature, natural as driving a car that confidence following a complex recipe or throwing things together you found in the pantry. Cooking becomes autopilot, switched off from the outside world where you create in your space.

I remember helping my nan and aunties prepare food, listen to folklore, revere traditions, and watching. Children are like little sponges in the kitchen they soak up everything you do. These gifts and the memories I carry is what I love most about my family and I hope my younger generation feel this spirit when they cook and remember what we taught.

This has escalated into a blog because well hubby bought me a new mixer and I feel compelled to go forth and create magic and share all my culinary secrets I keep bottled.

For my daughters x

to you with love